A Poem by Pete Langley

A flock of starlings


                       We start small,

                       but Pollock would be proud.

                       We paint a larger picture.

                       Our skirl and whirl


                       Turnerising a turbid February.


                       We wheel and paint

                       the grey basalt sky

                       with black joined up dots,

                       never colliding,

                       only collaborating

                       in our change of shape.


                       None of us think we are clever or cleverer.

                       Our whim is democratic,

                       so our form can rear and fall

                       even as our dissenters leave us

                       or other observers rise to join us


                       and we can disappear

                       like specks of dust in an instant.



© 2015 Pete Langley

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Hi Pete. You have an amazing sense of poetic rightness! I love this, a little deeper than the last read and probably more open to interpretation, but I am so intrigued by your thinking!!! alf

Posted 3 Years Ago

as poets we could easily disappear with one stroke of the pen....but often we write in chaotic movement, form to be damned...yes, Pollock would be proud---those random words splashing on the page...

i really like this and don't know how i missed it before...


Posted 3 Years Ago

Recently, I saw a youtube video showing a flock of birds murmurating, and in the background Mozart, or some such classical music, was playing, so I was suppose to be feeling something. Well, I was actually, a certain despondency weighed down my spirit at the sight of these lemming like creatures (starlings actually) doing what they had been programmed to do. I was about to do something else, when suddenly I saw a single bird in flight, maybe it had strayed from the flock or was straying into the flock. But for that moment it was flying solo. And my heart rose like the lark ascending. It represented, or may have been the soul of, a Turner or a Pollack, undemocratic, uncollaborative, and maybe even clever than all those flying sheep needlessly swooping and swirling.

If this sounds a mite fanciful then check out the video and spot the dissenter at

If I could command the words to fly in formation they would spell out the words GREAT POEM

Posted 3 Years Ago

"Murmurating" .. love love love that right off the bat! and thank you for the experience of mind heart and soul .. i was watching a piece on Spontaneous Governing by J. Stossel (a Libertarian) .. the assertion is that we don't need all the federal government interference in things because communities will rise to the occasion more quickly and efficiently .. your vividly descriptive poem (almost felt myself joining the flock in the dance) reminded me of the music of unrehearsed spontaneity .. just marvelous says i!

Posted 3 Years Ago

First off, a brilliant title. As for the poem, the joy is in the subtlety, the usage of this lovely language of ours.

This will never disappear like a speck of dust.


Posted 3 Years Ago

Some people join and some leave for different reasons. Others are just observers and not activists. I even witness this on this site. An excellent one Pete...:)...

Posted 3 Years Ago

Very visual and then thought-provoking, Pete. Democratic in the sky, not so in my garden. Can't work out why you've used 'observers.' Perhaps 'followers' or 'members' - they're more democratic. Specks of dust, like a life gone - puff, just like that.
Funny site, this, as you said. I don't exist.
Cheers, Gerald.

Posted 3 Years Ago

Great write Pete and I LOVE the title

Posted 3 Years Ago

the power and joy and mastery of the aire

Posted 3 Years Ago

The Pollock and Turner references are amazing and they ghost-write/ghost-paint this in my minds eye Peter. The metaphor of the flock is spot on for society in general and WC specifically - so inventive.
The finality of the final couplet adds a 'for whom the bell tolls' feeling
Class work Peter.

Are you familiar Peter with the work of computer simulations of flocks of boids (bird-droids) - its fascinating

Posted 3 Years Ago

Einstein Noodle

3 Years Ago

sorry for butting in .. checked the link and i think it is very cool .. and always love Loius!! read more

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10 Reviews
Added on January 29, 2015
Last Updated on January 29, 2015


Pete Langley
Pete Langley

Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, United Kingdom

I`m an academically illiterate intellectual butterfly, flitting from one bloom to another, trying to find nectar where I can - and failing most of the time, like every other searcher on this worl.. more..

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A Poem by Pete Langley

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